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:: The Biggest Reason Why the U.S. Needs Small Businesses to Thrive Has Nothing to Do With Taxes or the Economy

Despite recent stock market turmoil, everywhere you looked this year someone was heralding the strength of the economy, which grew at 3.5 percent in the third quarter. However, not all economic growth favors small businesses, and some even detracts from it. The Inc. Entrepreneurship Index, which measures the quarterly health of the U.S. startup economy, currently sits at 83 out of 100 for the third quarter of 2018. This is down two points from the second quarter and a full nine points from the first quarter of 2017, when our Index peaked. Our indicator sees one factor in particular still dragging like an anchor on the startup economy: job growth.

Even though overall economic conditions have been largely favorable, small businesses have hit a growth ceiling as larger companies--bolstered by generally strong market conditions, favorable tax policies, support from local governments, and easing federal regulations--have been gobbling up talent. This is why, for the past year, the Index has shown a startup economy that is strong but slowing.

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:: The Clock Is Ticking: Small Business Tax Strategies to Do This Year

Tax season can be stressful for anyone, but given a number of changes made in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), as well as ongoing legislative changes, the 2018 tax year stands to be especially difficult for small business owners to navigate. However, by making a few smart moves now and being mindful of strategies that will allow you to to capitalize on existing tax benefits, you can close out the year with the peace of mind that you made the best tax moves for your business.

In order to set yourself and your business up for success, know the current tax law and take advantage of what changes are coming and going.

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:: Small Businesses Lose $80K on Average to Cybercrime Annually, Better Business Bureau Says

The growth of cybercrime will cost the global economy more than $2 trillion by 2019, according to the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Among Small Businesses in North America report.

Cost of a Cyber Attack
When it comes to small businesses, the report said the overall annual loss was estimated at almost $80K or $79,841 on average. And as more small businesses become equal parts digital and brick-and-mortar, securing both aspects of their company is more important than ever.
The risks small business owners face in the digital world has increased their awareness of the dangers of this ecosystem. A survey conducted by GetApp in 2017 revealed security concerns ranked second as the challenges small businesses were facing.

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:: Small business holiday marketing tips for 2018

The holiday season is already in full swing. And, I believe, you would have already pushed all the right buttons, at all fronts, be it your website pages, social media pages, marketing emailers and all, before things might get too hot to handle for you.

However, a checklist will always come handy, I believe. It will not only keep you on your toes but will remind you of the pending activities that might need your attention, now or later on.

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:: 4 Reasons To Support Small Companies On Small Business Saturday® And Beyond

Whether you are a small business owner, a consumer, or the CEO of a big corporation, you likely know that small companies are a pretty big part of the economy. This year, show your support for small enterprises by participating in Small Business Saturday® (SBS).

My accounting and payroll software company, Patriot Software, is an advocate of Small Business Saturday. And personally, I am a major supporter of small businesses. I know how much time, dedication, money, and hard work entrepreneurs pour into their small companies.

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:: Small Business Profile: DejaVu Designs

Custom handmade surf tumbled sea glass and tumbled stone designs, jewelry, hair clips and ornaments. #seaglass #tumbledstones #jewelry #handmade #homemade #dejavudesigns #smallbusiness #smallbiz #stonejewelry #seaglassjewelry

:: 10 Wealth Management Tips For Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, it can be a point of pride to watch your dreams translate into equitable profits. However, the road to success has many potholes to avoid and expressways to take — if you recognize them in time.

With the vast array of personal finance knowledge out there, it can be tricky to figure out which advice is the best fit for small business owners. Ten members of Forbes Finance Council weighed in with their own personal wealth management tips to help you keep your personal and professional finances in good shape.

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:: 4 Ways Small Businesses Can Internally Prepare for Holiday Shopper

Savvy small businesses are already looking ahead to the holiday shopping season, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Here are four things you can do to prepare your business for the holidays.

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:: Struggling to Get Motivated? Don't Ask for Advice--Give It

There's a lot of advice out there for the lazy and unmotivated: Take baby steps! Set a timer! Enlist an accountability partner! But what if the best way to tackle lack of motivation is not to give any sort of advice at all, but to ask for it instead?

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:: Social Media Mistakes All Small Business Owners Should Avoid

Social media is a crucial component of any small business' marketing efforts. When done well, a strong social strategy helps you connect directly with your customers, and can even create some free publicity along the way.

For all of social media's advantages, there are pitfalls as well. The internet can look like a cavalier place when it comes to copyright rules, but there are plenty of no-nos that you need to follow if you want to stay out of legal trouble.

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:: Seven Accounting Staples To Analyze As A Small-Business Leader

Your role as CEO, president or founder is critical to your small and growing company — you need to focus on products, customers and strategies. One of the last things you want to do is babysit your bookkeeper. Yet I can think of dozens of horror stories born of a lack of accounting oversight in the early stages of startup growth.

What should you track? Here are seven items I have found are key to request from your bookkeeper and how to review them. Asking for these items is good accounting hygiene: It informs your bookkeeper that you are inspecting their work and allows you to quickly identify and minimize potential problems. And, in my experience, it should not take you more than an hour a month.

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:: This Is What a Great Book Does to Your Brain

Books can make us smarter, more informed, even more intellectually humble. But one of the most powerful benefits of regular reading is greater empathy. Through words you are transported to another's perspective. You look through their eyes. You understand their pain and their joy.

That can relieve loneliness and make life a whole lot more pleasant, but it's also good for business. Understanding customers and collaborators helps you get more done and be more creative.

So how exactly do books accomplish this magic trick? On Lit Hub recently Tufts University professor of child development and reading expert Maryanne Wolf explained the fascinating neuroscience of exactly what immersion in a good book does to your brain.

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:: 3 Steps to Recharge Yourself and Your Business

Running a business often means you have your hands in every aspect of the company. You are managing day-to-day tasks and making crucial business decisions all at the same time. It's no wonder small-business owners can often lose sight of the forest for the trees and get mired in the task of simply getting through each day.

Taking a step back gives you a tremendous amount of insight that not only reenergizes you to keep going, but can lead to crucial business decisions that transform and grow your business. Finding a way to build that inspiration into your life is not just a luxury—it is a necessity if you want to maintain a thriving business.

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